World renown hairstylist Mister Catherine had millions of coiffure fanatics around the world, a client book filled with movers and shakers who’d sit still long enough for him to apply his Midas Touch to their hair follicles. But was that any reason to offer him a recording contract?
Embassy Records seemed to think so, feeling that his name recognition alone among hair hags would be enough to rack up millions in sales when it signed him in late 1984..
Such was not the case, much to the chagrin of hit producer Brett Jacuzzi, whose own Midas Touch behind the mixing board couldn’t disguise the awful truth—that Danny Villonovia a/k/a Mister Catherine had a voice like a woman trapped in the last stages of throat cancer.
“I tried triple and quadruple tracking his voice but that only increased the rasp”, Jacuzzi told Hitz Magazine. “In fact, it made him sound like an asthmatic policewoman. So I decided to blend his voice with some people who could actually sing”. Although sworn to secrecy, it is now known that among the accomplished singers used to make that blend were Baby Lewis and one Stephen Oddyssey, then pretty down on his luck with the failure of Analog Cabin and willing to do anything for a buck after losing his house in the stock broker belt of north Surrey.
Also added in the mix for good luck was Daryll Heckenby, the man whom the recording industry knew as “The Hits Whisperer”.
“In those days, if you could get Daryll to whisper on your record, you were assured of a hit”, remared Jacuzzi. “He was uncredited on Band-Aid, but you can clearly see him on the video, whispering behind Bananarama. I’m not sure if Daryll had anything to do with the occult but he was a strange guy and the studio had two locust invasions after he let us know he was unhappy about being so low in the mix”.
Daryll’s lucky streak in the record world ended with this single, which never became a turntable hit in any homes with a working turntable. The universe, now suddenly back on its axis again, continued as it should have, with Mister Catherine returning to his clippers and Daryll Heckenby finding new fortune and fame, whispering to greyhounds at the dog track in White City. Mister Catherine’s last high profile client was President Bill Clinton, who infamously let planes wait on the runway for two hours while Mister Catherine waited for some hair inspiration on Air Force One.
Mister Catherine’s BONUS B-SIDE OF DUBIOUS DISTINCTION demonstrates what happens when too much sweetening takes place in the studio. On “That’s Your Darling For You” Mister Catherine is so low in the mix that he may well have been attending to customers in his salon for all the difference his presence makes. “That was Danny Rivera, a singer from Bolognia who had a really great voice. Much better than Mister Catherine”, recalls producer Brent Jacuzzi who adds that the 2U was affixed to Mr. C’s name in the hopes that dyslexic shoppers would think they were buying a single off The Unforgettable Fire”.